A Scare

I’ve spent a lot of the day in shock, trying to blamk out what happened at breakfast time.

I even put a couple of posts live this morning, then went through to the kitchen as normal. I put the kettle on, as normal. I mixed some oats up into porridge, as normal. I can’t help thinking I was lucky to be in the room for what happened next.

The kettle, almost boiled, stuttered. Then it started again – its LED shows on/off. So I am staring at the kettle, wondering what’s going on, when all of a sudden, I see a puff of black, acrid smoke, accompanied by a flash, coming from the kettle’s switch into the wall socket.

Fortunately I grabbed the (plastic, insulated) plug and pulled it out of the wall, removing power to the kettle. I was just left with this smoke and an awful smell.

Now, the kettle wasn’t actually connected directly to the wall socket. I had a wi-fi switch in there. The type of switch which allows me to remotely turn the kettle on from my bed. Ironically, I don’t use it any more, but it was still in the loop between wall socket and kettle.

This switch had all the right logos on it – there is a safety standard within the EU, and since we only left a year ago… But, on inspection, this wi-fi switch was the culprit – indeed, part of it had melted away. After it cooled I could see quite clear damage.

So I can’t help thinking how lucky I was to be in the room when this happened, so I was able to nip it all in the bud. And I can’t help thinking that we need to get an electrician in just to make sure the socket is safe (although I’m pretty sure it was this switch rather than the socket, we’ve left the socketoff just in case, so there is no circuit there). And, I tested the kettle – literally watched water boil – at lunchtime, in a different socket. But I can’t help thinking that every unidentified little noise in the house is the start of a fire somewhere, and I can still smell that bloody smell!


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